Domestic Violence Resources - Understanding Privileged Communication and Witness Testimony

By: beyli

This article is intended to help you clarify the way in which these two concepts interact and the

impact it has on you.

Privileged communication is sacred and is an essential part of the vehicle in which

psychotherapeutic process evolves.

Witness testimony is the presentation of an individual's observations, knowledge of, and

perspective with respect to an issue and/or individual under scrutiny.

Once testimony is given by someone you previously had privileged communication with, imagine

what happens to the confidentially of the therapeutic relationship. And recognize how you might

be in that relationship with respect to your own psychotherapeutic process.

More than likely, you'd be concerned, either consciously or unconsciously, about filtering your

communication knowing that it can get into the hands of others-especially your opposition.

Some people think you can have privilege here even though you let it go there. Not necessarily

so. Once you let it go, it is pretty much gone if not technically, then therapeutically.

If you feel you want a therapist to show your best side over using that therapeutic relationship for

your own personal growth, then having them testify on your behalf would be in order. However, if

your skeletons have made their way into that relationship or if you want a therapeutic alliance in

which you can heal and grow, you will not want to waive your privilege.

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